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The month of love ~

 

Have you noticed the commercials already prompting, even pressuring us to buy things, candy, flowers, and expensive jewelry for Valentine’s Day? Haven’t we just been through the Christmas buy-a-thon less than 6 weeks ago?

I looked up the history of Valentine’s Day and found in Wikipedia that there were several fellows named Valentine who were martyred for their Christian faith. There isn’t much more known about them except the place where their remains, uh, remain. I’m sorry, but I’m not getting the connection from the Saints Valentine boys and this heart and flower romantic stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I love romance as much as the next chick on the block. But does February have to be about romantic love? Where does that leave the single, the widowed, the divorced?   What about the teen who doesn’t fit in with the crowd and may not have a beau?  She gets enough pressure to be and look and act a certain way without this added burden to her already defeated self-esteem.

So I’m suggesting we try a different approach to this month of love. Why not begin showing love to more than just one special person in your circle? Why not, even, go beyond and reach out to people outside your circle?

What if we made it a point to shower people with love, no matter on what road we happen to meet them? I’m game if you are.

Let’s do some random acts of love this month and shock the socks off some folks.

Here are some suggestions to get us started.

  • Write a real note of appreciation to someone. I don’t mean send an email. I mean a piece of paper with your handwriting on it. Mail it or hand deliver it so he or she can hold it, keep it, and read it again as a reminder that someone said “thanks.”
  • Give to someone for the pure joy of giving, not because you expect something in return.
  • Clean up someone else’s mess or do the dishes when it isn’t your turn.
  • Carry a package.  Hold the door open.  Smile and look into the person’s eyes.
  • Listen, really listen, without doing something else.  Ladies, that means no multi-tasking.  Men that means turn down the TV.
  • Give an honest compliment or say something nice like “I’m glad you are my friend” or “You’re fun to be with.”

Well, that is enough to get us started. Maybe you will think of your own random acts of love and carry through with them.

I do hope you will share your stories with me. And I’ll share mine with you.

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I’m a living blog!

  

Since starting this blog in September 2010, I often wonder who is reading it. Some people leave comments; others write to me on Facebook about a blog they have read.  Once in a while WordPress.com sends me a message that says, “someone has subscribed to your blog.”  It’s a nice surprise.  I may recognize the email address, but sometimes I don’t.  And again I wonder, who out there in cyberspace is reading my words?

Words. I told you a blog or two ago that I had been thinking a lot about words, the words I write and the words I say. One of my life goals is to speak words that will help others become stronger.

So it was with much interest that I read a devotion from Our Daily Bread sent by email from my sweet friend, Sharon. She usually sends a short inspirational thought each day to her email friends.  But this day she sent the full message.

The Scripture referenced in this devotional was the apostle Paul’s startling message to the Corinthian church.*  He said:

Clearly, you are a letter from Christ . . . This letter is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.”  (New Living Translation)

There was also a quote by Lewis Bayly, a chaplain to King James I in England.  In his book, The Practice of Piety, he said, “one who hopes to effect any good by his writings will find that he will instruct very few . . . The most powerful means, therefore, of promoting what is good is by example . . . living excellence to those around him.”

Wow!  I had to ponder that for a moment.  Me, a letter to the world. Who is reading, and what are people reading in me? A book of fiction, a mystery, an advice column, the latest gossip news?

Now I’m beginning to realize I am a walking blog, a modern version of a letter, or as they say in King James Version, a living epistle. The words are written and read by people I see every day.

And I pray,

Dear Heavenly Father, may people see the Word that became flesh written on my heart and lived out in my life.     

* 2 Corinthians 3:3

Please leave a comment. Now you know how much I want to know you are out there.

A letter from a friend

 

  When I went to the mailbox, there it was. An envelope with the tell-tale stickers all over it. I knew who sent it before I looked at the return address or recognized the familiar hand writing.

A letter from my sweet young friend who lives in another city is always a welcome treat. She and I have been pen pals for a number of years now since she moved away. We used to go to church together; and she was in my Sunday school class at one time.

We talk on the phone occasionally. We even manage a visit one in awhile.

In this day of email, Facebook, cell phones, and instant messages of all sorts, letters are an old fashioned way of communicating. Yet my friend and I treasure this ritual.

She says she finds little time to write these days, being a mother of a delightful pre-schooler. She spends a lot of time interacting with her daughter, volunteering at her church, and keeping the home fires burning for her husband and family. No wonder she doesn’t have much time to write. And that is part of what makes the letter so precious. It is her offering, her sacrifice of time, that tells me she values our friendship.

I have to say I enjoy having my cell phone handy when I need to make a quick call or talk to Sweet William. I am a little duck in the big puddle of Facebook, checking on friends and family. And email is one of the most efficient ways for me to communicate when I am at the office.

But there is no substitute for the written word on paper stuffed in an envelope that is covered with cute stickers.  There are even a few lines written on the outside to entice me to delve into the contents. It is worth much more than the 44 cent stamp that brought it to me.   

It is a memorial of friendship. It makes me remember her and our times together. It brings a smile and a chuckle.

I can’t wait to start a letter back to her.

The written word.  I’ve been reading and thinking about it alot lately.  God allows us to share ourselves through words spoken and written.  It is the same with Him.  He shared Himself through spoken words to prophets and the written word preserved for us in the book called the Holy Bible.  Yet, even more astounding is the truth that He shared Himself like no other ever has.  The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. 

In the beginning was the Word . . .

Please leave your comment, your words.  I love reading them.